Queensland drives electric car-charging highway further

·2-min read

Queensland will almost double the size of its "electric super highway" with a $20 million investment to deliver electric vehicle chargers to more than 30 regional towns.

Another 44 electric car-charging stations will be rolled out in the latest extension of the state government project, with companies including Tesla and RACQ co-funding their installation.

The investment comes as the number of electric vehicles registered in Queensland topped 20,000 and after the battery-powered cars made up eight per cent of new car sales in April 2023 – up from 3.8 per cent in 2022.

Queensland Transport Minister Mark Bailey said the government would invest $10 million in the latest stage of the car-charging highway, which launched in 2017.

"This will nearly double the amount of government-funded charging sites, expanding the facilities into regional areas," Mr Bailey said.

"By the time the new stations are up and running, our state will have one of the widest spread charging network(s) in the country".

Queensland's "electric super highway" was already set to feature 55 electric vehicle charging stations, including established chargers from Port Douglas in the north to Coolangatta in the south, and many under construction in western towns including Mt Isa and Charleville.

Queensland Energy Minister Mick de Brenni said the project was an important investment in zero-emission transport and quieter roads but would also support tourism in regional areas.

"Securing more chargers up and down Queensland means EV owners have even more opportunity to get out and explore all the beauty and wonder our great state has to offer," he said.

The 33 new towns chosen to receive charging infrastructure include Maroochydore on the Sunshine Coast, Ormeau on the Gold Coast, Monto in the North Burnett, and regional centres such as Rockhampton, Toowoomba, Townsville, Gladstone and Cairns.

Tesla, Evie Networks, RACQ, Engie and the NRMA will co-fund and build the infrastructure, with chargers expected to be operating by the end of 2024.

The new infrastructure will boost Australia's growing charging network of 4943 stations in December 2022 – up from 3413 in 2021 – in more than 2300 locations, according to the Electric Vehicle Council.

New South Wales had the greatest number of electric car chargers last year, at 715, followed by Victoria with 475, Queensland with 433, and Western Australia, South Australia, and Tasmania.